Sarawak PKR accuses state DAP colleagues of refusing to negotiate transparently, openly for election seat allocations

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A statement issued by the Sarawak PKR’s State Leadership Council accused Sarawak DAP of refusing to negotiate in an open and transparent manner over certain seats, and for not responding to requests to hold discussions.  — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A statement issued by the Sarawak PKR’s State Leadership Council accused Sarawak DAP of refusing to negotiate in an open and transparent manner over certain seats, and for not responding to requests to hold discussions. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Sarawak PKR’s State Leadership Council has accused fellow Pakatan Harapan (PH) colleagues Sarawak DAP of being difficult during seat negotiations for the upcoming state elections.

A statement issued by the Council accused Sarawak DAP of refusing to negotiate in an open and transparent manner over certain seats, and for not responding to requests to hold discussions.

In particular, the statement mentioned negotiations for the Kemena and the Senadin and Piasau state seats under the Miri parliamentary constituency.

Sarawak PKR asserted how Kemena was originally a PKR seat that was “loaned” to DAP for the 2016 state polls, which DAP eventually lost, and that a new more suitable Dayak candidate for the seat has since been identified by them.

“We presented our candidate’s KPI and dossier to the Sarawak PH chairman but he refused to even read or acknowledge it. What was even more puzzling was that the PH chairman refused to tell us who he had in mind as a DAP candidate in Kemena.

“To the best of our knowledge, there has been no DAP-led grassroots outreach in Kemena for over three years,” read the statement, referring to state PH chairman and DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen.

The Council explained how the Senadin and Piasau seats were similarly lost by DAP after being defeated in the 2016 polls, before asserting that PKR has the stronger grassroots backing in these predominantly Chinese and Dayak constituencies.

They included the Pujut seat, which was won by DAP but later saw their candidate disqualified due to citizenship issues, which has since been vacant for almost three years.

“We have a multicultural lineup in terms of our state leadership with leaders from the Orang Ulu, Iban, Kedayan and Chinese communities in Miri and neighbouring Sibuti.

“Sarawak DAP was offered a win-win formula whereby we would contest the two state seats (Piasau, Senadin) and they (contest) the single constituency. It was hoped that by providing a strong, united front with which to battle Gabungan Parti Sarawak, the coalition will thrive in the coming elections.

“In view of this, Sarawak DAP refused to engage in any negotiations on this matter and continued to demand all three seats despite their lack of performance and losses in the 2016 state election,” the statement asserted.

The Council then questioned DAP's Sarawak sense of camaraderie and consensus building, saying the only way that it can be done is transparently, openly, and in a respectful manner.

“Building a strong Opposition in Sarawak that can effectively bring about reform and change is not just about dominating Chinese majority seats in the towns,” they said.

The Council added how the Opposition in Sarawak must be led by an effective team consisting of multiracial leaders with strong grassroots support to be able to serve the people including those in the rural heartlands.

DAP’S Chong had said yesterday that PH parties would contest in Sarawak with their respective logos, and how PKR is set to contest 47 seats, DAP 26, and Parti Amanah Negara nine.

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